The Weight of Meaning


The Sopranos, “The Weight”.

There is a play between the ordinary and the symbolic in The Sopranos (1999-2007). The most noticeable examples of this play are the dream sequences. Yet there are more subtle instances. Sometimes elements are completely inserted into the diegetic world, but gain the force of symbols to someone — which consequently justifies their return as something associated with that character.

This is what happens in “The Weight” (4.04). Consider the connection between Carmella (Edie Falco) and the song associated with Furio Giunta (Federico Castelluccio) at the end of the episode. When Tony (James Gandolfini) and Carmella are in the bedroom, the song seems an extra-diegetic element, music added to the scene. Then it is made clear that the sound is coming from Meadow’s (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) room. She is listening to the CD that she brought from Furio’s party. After Meadow turns down the music, Carmella and Tony have sex (or more precisely, just Tony). Later, the music returns when the camera concentrates on Carmella. She appears to be infatuated with Furio and the song recalls the connection between them and gives form to her infatuation through her memory. In the strict sense, the song is not an extra-diegetic sound since it directly expresses the contend of her thoughts and feelings.